LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A chip-in on the 16th hole allowed Tiger Woods to salvage an opening nine of 1-over 37 at the PGA Championship.
Starting on the back nine Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club, Woods bogeyed both par 3s, Nos. 11 and 14, before holing a 34-yard chip shot on the par-4 16th. He found five of seven fairways, hit five greens and took 15 putts over his first nine holes.
Woods was tied for 41st, five shots off the early lead, when he made the turn. Phil Mickelson, playing in the same group, birdied the 18th to make the turn in 37, while Padraig Harrington shot 1 under on his opening nine.
After arriving late to Valhalla – where he won the 2000 PGA in a memorable duel with Bob May – Woods played only the front nine during Wednesday’s practice round. He walked the inward side with caddie Joe LaCava, stopping periodically to hit a few chips and putts.
Woods said the back injury he suffered last week at Firestone was unrelated to his March 31 surgery, and his physiotherapist is on-site this week if any issues arise. The former world No. 1 showed no ill effects of the injury early Thursday.